Explore the Oldest Dioceses in South Asia

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

It is believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle,
who is said to have reached the Malabar Coast of Kerala in 52 AD.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when
Portuguese missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

History of a few oldest dioceses in India as the cradle of Indian Christianity
can be dated back to the 15th century.

Find out which is the first diocese in India here.

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Diocese of Hazaribagh

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Diocese of Hazaribagh
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In a land area of 21,213.6 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers districts of Hazaribag, Chatra, Koderma and Bokaro in northeastern state of Jharkand. Cities in the area are Hazaribag and Bokaro.

The diocese of Hazaribagh was erected by Pope John Paul II on April 1, 1995, by bifurcating the diocese of Daltonganj.


In 2016, the total population was 5,786,000. The ethnic groups consist of the Santhals, Oraons, Mundas and the Kharias. Catholics in the diocese belong to the Santhals, Oraons, Mundas and Kharias, scheduled castes, South Indians and Biharis.


Languages used in the diocesan territory are Santhali, Mundari, Oraon, Kharia, Nagpuria and Hindi.


Roads and railways are common in the territory.


The annual per capita income in the diocesan territory is Rs.23, 361 ($512) as of January 2011.

Major industries and trade are heavy engineering, coal mining,  steel and tourism.

Jharkhand is a mineral rich state and chief mineral resources of the diocese are iron ore and coal. Agricultural products are maize, rice, wheat and various pulses.


The most commonly used telecommunication service is mobile phones in the diocesan territory.


Literacy rate is 52.49 percent among males and 22.9 percent among females.


The important festivals of the state are Sohraj, Karma, Badna, Sarhul, Hal Punhya, Id, Holi,  Dussehra, etc.

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